Thursday, 31 October 2013

Monthly Favourites: October 2013

As the weather has gotten colder and windier, my skin has not been behaving as well as it used to. I have always found it difficult to predict when my skin will decide to act up, besides that time of the month. The sudden change in weather has caused my skin to react negatively - breakouts and dry patches, alongside super oiliness for some reason. Luckily, I knew just what to feed those nasty breakouts... Sudocrem!

Sudocrem has never really been a secret to the blogosphere, but I always feel like this pot of nappy cream never gets as much love as it should. Sounds dramatic, I know, but besides the E.L.F. zit zapper, this is the only thing that works for me to help reduce developing, developed, or developed and super menacing spots. This works well without drying out my skin, which is great - I hardly need flaky skin when my skin is so chapped already!

I have been using the Avene Micellar Lotion for a few months now, but it has been great in helping to make my skin feel less dehydrated in this chilly weather. I've had this since July, and I've only used about a quarter of this 400ml bottle!

I like how quick and easy this is to use, and the super fresh and rehydrated feeling I get after. It's kind of gross but satisfying to see all the dirt you can wipe off your face and neck too!

I have being sticking to basic concealer and powder recently, and the Maybelline Instant Anti-Age The Eraser Eye Perfect & Cover Concealer is the only one that I have been reaching for. It gives good coverage, doesn't settle in any lines or slightly dry skin, and dries to a beautifully silky and matte finish. It has also been great to use on my red areas and any spots, but I do worry about the hygiene of the sponge, despite the 'anti-bacterial' claims. Nevertheless, the product works great, and I can see myself using it all through the colder months.

The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencils are super creamy and pigmented, but what I love the most is that the creamy, smudgeable formula dries totally waterproof. My eyes have been watering quite easily in the cold, but the waterproof formula means that I don't have those terrible black tears running down my face every time the wind hits my eyes. (The Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal is very similar, but I will be doing a comparison post on that another time.)

Before I purchased the Lioele Auto Eyebrow Pencil, I had only ever done my brows using the E.L.F. Eyebrow Kit, or an eyeshadow along with an angled brush and a spoolie. The Auto Eyebrow has been great in that the colour matches perfectly, and the single stick itself contains the product on one side, and a spoolie on the other end where the silver cap is. This made it great for the travelling that I have been doing this month.

The shade I have is in 01 Grey Black, and the product itself is like a waxy crayon, and the colour intensity is very easily controlled by how hard you draw each stroke. The colour lasts all day, and it has not broken me out. Compared to the E.L.F brow kit, the Lioele pencil is victorious in the fact that the colour matches a lot better, and there is no tiny brush to mess around with. I will still be using my combination of eyeshadow + angled brush + spoolie, but I will be keeping that for days where I want my brows looking more soft and less defined.

The spoolie is hard to clean, but it is very handy for brushing out the colour and evening everything out. I have really enjoyed using this brow product this month, and I regret not getting a back up because I just know I will be using this all the time..

The last make up favourite of this month is the MAC Frost Blush in Margin. I would never have picked this out to purchase, but after a trip to the MAC store to get matched to the Mineralised Skinfinish Powder, I asked the make up artist what shade of blusher she would recommend. 

She asked me to pick out a shade I liked, whilst she would pick one that she thought would suit my complexion. I ended up going for a pink shade, whilst she went for this brown-y, coral-y, gold-y, hard-to-describe shade. I was so convinced it would look terrible, but it came out looking so natural, I ended up asking my sister to help me buy it at the airport.

I love this blush because it's natural looking, and it acts like a highlighter, a blusher, and a bronzer all in one.. it's difficult to describe, but the frosty finish of the powder does not turn your face into a disco ball, but leaves you with a healthy, glowing complexion.. I never used to wear blush every time I wore make up, but now I never wear make up without this blusher on my cheeks!

The last product for this month is the Clinique Take The Day Off Make Up Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips. I used to have sample sized bottles of this product, given to me by a relative, and I enjoyed using this right up until the point I ran out. I naturally went looking for a replacement, and lived happily with my Olay Eye Make Up Removal Cream until recently when I discovered that my eyes were starting to get dry and red after using the cream. I decided to revert back to the Clinique, which is an oil and water mixture that I like to use specifically for my eye area. You shake up the contents, and then pour it onto a cotton pad to wipe away your make up. I like to use my Avene Micellar Lotion after this, which also helps to get rid of any remaining oil/water mix. It removes my waterproof eye make up easily, and a little bit on a cotton bud also helps to get rid of tight-lined eyeliner, without any irritation at all. 

Finally, totally non-skin care or make up related..

How cute are my Aldo earrings? :D

What have you been liking this October?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Haul: Korean Make Up and Skin Care Haul + First Impressions

During my sister's lengthy trip to Asia, she alerted me of a tourism offer and super sales event in Myeong-dong - how could I say no when everything was 30-50% off, and difficult to get hold of in the UK?! After some lengthy research and blind attempts at navigating the Etude House website in Korean, I finally messaged her a list of things I was interested in trying, which she proceeded to track down and lug back for me despite having next to no space or money left..



Let me introduce the Cerulean Warbler - a sweet cotton candy scented hand cream, enriched with shea butter and herb water. It is also free from parabens, sulphates, ethanol and mineral oil, but what's more... it's packaged in a really cute light blue owl, and part of the sales will go towards Protection Fund to help endangered birds!!

"Hi! I'm Cerulean Warbler, the pretty singing bird in blue! You may already know me from many fairy tales, as I represent happiness."
"I like to sing, sitting on a branch, but nowadays I can't find many places to sit and sing because of tall buildings with glass walls. Also, many of my friends didn't notice those walls and crashed into them. Please help me to sing freely again!"

This hand cream from Etude House is strangely thick in the pot (it sits in the body of the owl), but it is not at all sticky, and spreads easily across the skin.
The scent doesn't remind me of cotton candy/candy floss - it reminds me of a Nivea hand cream that my Mum used to use. (If I find out what it was called, I'll update this post... just so everyone who hates that smell can steer clear of this product!)
Next on my list were a few lipsticks from previous Etude House collections. I was interested in the Princess Etoinette lipsticks, but I felt like they were priced too steeply for me to risk - even after the mega discount. I like being able to swatch lip shades before I purchase them, which made me a bit wary of purchasing too many lipsticks..

I searched for plenty of swatches and reviews online, and finally decided on Dear My Lips-Talk in shades OR214 and OR221 from the Colour Pop collection, and Dear My Jelly Lips-Talk in JPK002 from the Sweet Recipe collection. I liked how the latter lipstick collection appeared to be really pigmented but glossy at the same time - it reminded me of Push Pops! (Does anyone even remember those?? Gosh, I feel so old ><)
I really enjoy the packaging of Etude House Lips-Talks. The box packaging is always pretty and sturdy in design, and the bullet is always packaged into a beautiful plastic casing that can be closed with a satisfying click. I never feel that the packaging is too tacky, and it actually makes me glad that there is no printed text on the casing.. because it gets really annoying when it rubs or scratches off, leaving tiny bits of coloured speck in my bag and a lipstick that looks like it's been through a few battles..
My love for vibrant pink/red lipsticks shall never ever end ^-^
Etude House Color Pop Dear My Lips-Talk in OR214
This was the first lipstick that I opened and I have to admit, I was not disappointed until I swatched it. The shade is not something I would usually go for - a salmon-y shade of orange-pink. Both the stock photos and blogger reviews/swatches that I had seen online had given me the impression that this lipstick was a nude-pink - something that I would have much preferred. As I find it difficult to pull off pale or orange based lipsticks, I am not sure what I'm going to be doing with this one! I have never found a way to wear such shades without looking really ill.. ><

(Swatches can be found further down...)
Etude House Sweet Recipe Dear My Jelly Lips-Talk in JPK002
The Sweet Recipe Jelly Lips-Talk in JPK002 made up for the major disappointment, because it was exactly as I had imagined it - bright pink, super glossy looking, and it swatched just like a Push Pop!! (I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who used to pretend the Push Pop was a lipstick... :p)
Etude House Dear Color Pop Dear My Lips-Talk in OR221
I actually expected this Color Pop lipstick to be more vibrant and pink than the Sweet Recipe Jelly lipstick, but OR221 is several shades darker than JPK002. It is more of a cherry red than a pink, but you cannot deny that it is a deep red that will still turn heads - it may be darker, but it is certainly more bold because it is so much more pigmented than JPK002.

All three of these lipsticks are moisturising, and lasting power for the Color Pop lipsticks are great. Obviously, with a sheer finish, the Sweet Recipe Jelly lipstick does not last as long, but it is neither sticky nor shy in colour!
Swatches for Color Pop OR214, OR221 and Sweet Recipe JPK002.
The number of swipes have been labelled to demonstrate the range of pigmentation possible.
Out of all three lipsticks, the Sweet Recipe Jelly Lips-Talk in JPK002 is my favourite. It's a bold, pigmented red that has great lasting power. I find that you can blot this lipstick and still leave a beautiful stain - the intensity of the colour is entirely up to you, and I love having that power.

One single moisturising lipstick, out of which you can get a plethora of different looks. What's not to love?


I also got hold of my first ever CC cream after much debate. I was originally going to go for the Etude House CC Cream but as most reviews suggested that the oil control wasn't great, I went for The Face Shop Aura CC Cream in 01 Radiant Beige.

'FACE IT CC CREAM is a color-controlling cream that brightens your complexion.'
As I couldn't tell what shade would match my skin tone, I told my sister that I was an NC20 in MAC, or No. 21 in Missha's Perfect Cover BB Cream - I figured these were pretty universal shades. The sales assistant in The Face Shop had never heard of an NC20, but on hearing No. 21 immediately grabbed 01 Radiant Beige off the shelf and handed it over. 

I have only worn this CC cream once, and I'm slightly unsure about how well it matches. The coverage is great considering it is a CC cream for skin benefits rather than coverage, but it seems a little too light on me - it looks fine with a little bronzer to warm up my complexion, but as I was in a rush, I didn't have enough time to wait and see if it would oxidise and match up on its own. I will probably write a separate review on this after I test it out a bit more. 
The compact itself is very large, and with 20g of product, the total weight of the CC cream comes in at 97g (at least according to my non-calibrated electronic kitchen scale!), which is a bit of a pain when it comes to carrying it around for touch ups throughout the day.
The product is dispensed by pushing down on the clear plastic button, which I found quite easy to control. You can either apply the CC cream using the sponge provided, a brush, or with your own fingers. As I have only used this once, I haven't worked out the best way to apply this yet, but I can confirm that the sponge is worthy of being kept.
There was also a 'buy 2 get a refill free' offer, so my sister got a CC cream as well and let me get the refill :) As you can see, the centre of the packaging can be totally replaced. The refill package also comes with a new make up sponge.

When browsing through the eye make up section of the Etude House website, I discovered the Color Pop Drawing Show Creamy Pencil set, which contained 5 creamy pencils in relatively natural shades. As the majority of the colours I liked were in this set, I decided to go for it.
Swatches of Etude House's Color Pop Drawing Show Creamy Pencil Set
These pencils are very creamy and remind me a lot of Urban Decay's famous 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils. 

After swatching the above photo, I went to remove it just by rubbing it. When nothing happened, I tried again with cold water, then warm water, and then even warmer water. I rubbed my hand until it was red raw, and then.. it only smeared a little. As someone who named Urban Decay's eye liner as her holy grail... I am very excited to wear these on my eyes. I am hoping that they will be better than UD as even those smudge on me when it gets too warm!

Of course, I will post a proper review when I've tried these out properly, but I am already anticipating a good result with these!

Etude House Proof 10 Color Eye Stick Bling in the Sea
I had never heard of the 'Color Eye Stick' before, but when I saw the swatches online, I was intrigued by the shimmer and beauty of these. They looked very multi-functional and I could see myself using them as eye shadow bases or for lining my lower lash line.
Proof 10 Color Eye Stick Bling in the Sea in BL604 Deep Ocean Blue, BL602 Ocean Wave Blue, PK002 Mermaid Pink and BE102 Sand Gold
The pink and blue shades are the colours I picked out - Sand Gold is my sister's purchase.
Swatches of Etude House Proof 10 Color Eye Stick Bling in the Sea
 These eye sticks are even more persistent than the Color Pop Creamy Pencils - as I had these swatched next to each other, the same removal methods that I attempted on the pencils were also applied to these eye sticks.. even though the Creamy Pencils smudged a little on my red skin, these would not budge at all, and did not even look affected in the slightest. I have really high hopes for these, and I just can't wait to test it out and review them properly!!

Last but not least, I picked up a skin care item in the form of Tony Moly's Egg Pore Blackhead Out Oil Gel (why do all Korean skin care/cosmetic names seem so long?!)
This claims to be an 'effective pore purifying oil gel that clears out blackheads and impurities with egg & camellia ingredient'. After application to areas with blackheads (ie. the nose), you massage the gel into the skin, before washing off with water. There are small yellow exfoliating beads in the product, and the clear gel turns from clear to white, which is supposed to show the excess sebum mixing with the gel.
I haven't tried this product yet, but I can tell you that I had a lot of trouble with the packaging. The yellow lid that goes on top of the gel before you screw on the top half of the egg is a complete pain to me. It is extremely difficult to put the yellow lid back on without the gel spilling out of the pot every time you push the lid down. The egg packaging is cute, but I really wish the internal packaging was less messy and wasted less product. Again, I will try and do a proper review for this soon.

Thank you so, so much for taking the time to read this post! If you've managed to come so far, then I applaud you for your patience! I know my posts are always super long and take an age to read, and I just want to thank you for sticking with me.

Have you tried any of these products before? 
Is there anything you would like me to review first?

Take care :)

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